What is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic term in Islam which means permissible, allowed. Its antonym is Haram.
According to the dietary rules of Islam, halal refers to the foods that are fit for Muslim
With the exception of fish, Muslims will only be allowed to consume the meat of the aforementioned animals if
- They are slaughtered by a believer in Allah.
- At the time of slaughter the slaughter man recites, “I begin with Allah’s name and Allah is the Greatest,” or at the very least, “I begin with Allah’s name.”
- With a very sharp knife the slaughter man manually swiftly cuts the oesophagus, trachea and the two jugular veins of the animal in a single cut. In the event of him being unable to cut all four he must cut at least any three of them.
Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of the following animals
- Domesticated Birds
Muslims are not allowed to eat the meat of the following animals
- Animals that were slaughtered without being blessed
- Animals that were dead prior to slaughter
- Birds of prey
- Domesticated donkeys
Muslims are also not allowed to have any intoxicants such as alcohol nor any blood.
Why Is Halal Important to Muslims?
Halal is important to Muslims because it is a divine dictate. Allah has issued the following orders in the Holy Quran.
- “Mankind, eat whatever on the earth is lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is a clear enemy to you.” (Chapter 2, verse 168)
- “Messengers, eat from the good foods [We have provided you] and perform righteous deeds.” (Chapter 23, verse 51)
- “You who believe, eat from the good things We have provided you and be grateful to Allah.” (Chapter 2, verse 172)
- “So eat of that [meat] upon which Allah’s name has been taken, if you are believers in His verses.” (Chapter 6, verse 118)
- “And do not eat of that [meat] upon which Allah’s name has not been taken, for indeed, it is a grave sin.” (Chapter 6, verse121)
Compromising the dietary laws of Islam yields serious spiritual drawbacks. This is made clear in the following narrations
- Abu Hurayrah reported, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) made mention of a man who undergoes a lengthy journey, dishevelled and dusty. He extends his hands to the sky [calling] ‘My Master, my Master.’ However, his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful, and he has been nourished with unlawful [foods]. So how will he be answered?” (Sahih Muslim)
- Saʿd reported, “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘Saʿd, make sure your food is pure. [By doing so] you will become one whose prayers are [always] answered. I swear by the Being in whose hands my soul lies, verily, [when] a servant [of Allah] throws down a haram morsel into his stomach, no deed of his is accepted [by Allah] for forty days.’” (Tabarani)
- Abu Bakr reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘That body will not enter paradise that has been nourished with haram.’” (Bayhaqi)